In the post covid world for students to recover and catch up, their mental wellness needs to be a key focus of the LWSD moving forward. As we have all recently seen, even a highly qualified and successful athlete like Simone Biles who had access to more resources than most students do, withdrew from the finals of the Olympics due to her mental wellness. Student wellbeing is important for their overall development and quality of life. Their wellbeing encompasses all aspects of a student’s life, including their physical, social, mental and emotional state and these are some of the steps I will take steps to ensure students have resources to address their mental wellness needs i.e.
At the end of the day, student mental wellness equals school wellness.
The Lake Washington School District is diverse in culture, race, ethnicity, and socio-economic status. We need to ensure that no matter the student’s situation, they are offered an education that includes their history and is equitable so they can succeed and take advantage of future opportunities. I firmly believe that we all rise up together. I believe the quality of student’s education impacts their success in life as well as the impact they have on each of our daily lives. It is important that we provide equity in education to all, as we also need to hold our children to high standards in terms of education outcomes so that they are competitive and realize their success in a global economy.
These are the areas I will prioritize:
Teachers are an important aspect of our school district. I fully support salaries Commensurate with cost of living. I want our teachers to live in and be part of our communities! Enlisting high-quality teachers that reflect the diversity of our student body will be a priority of mine. This last year of digital learning was difficult for our teachers and students – I applaud everybody who took the steps needed to create the best out of a bad situation. We must ensure that the lessons learned and the skills that were shown to be needed, are now part of our paid training curriculum for our educators.
These are my top priorities when it comes to assisting teachers in being successful and thereby paving the way for our children’s achievement
Managing COVID-19 : From mastering remote-learning techniques to establishing strict sanitation protocols, educators must learn new skills to ensure student success in a post-coronavirus world. As a LWSD Director, I will make sure educators are allocated on the clock time to learn these new skills.
Inclusive schools with diverse perspectives : LWSD is a very diverse district with more than 127 languages spoken within the school system. With such a rich diversity of people comes an opportunity to embrace diverse perspectives and views. Students are more successful when they can see themselves in both their schools i.e., teachers’ administrators, support staff and peers.; and all students benefit when they can learn from a variety of experiences and perspectives. As a LWSD board member, I will urge the district to hire more highly qualified, diverse teachers and support staff, as well as put in place programs to foster and retain new employees so that they can continue to thrive.
Smaller class size : Research has shown that students in smaller classes have higher grades and perform better in exams. We know that in learning environments with a limited number of students, teachers can spend more time teaching the material and less time regrouping kids due to overcrowded classrooms. With fewer students in a class, there is more time for them to share their own ideas, express their opinions and describe their perspectives. We need to have smaller class sizes and more teacher resources to encourage and increase participation from students.
Support Staff : School support staff play an important role in ensuring students are learning in a safe and supportive learning environment. They can foster positive, trusting relationships with students and improve school climate by encouraging parent and family involvement in education. Students connect with school support staff in many ways throughout the school day, and benefit from their model of positive behavior. Staff who look like our students or have similar backgrounds, help kids feel comfortable and welcomed. I will endeavor to have a more diverse support staff across the LWSD.
We need to continue to build better schools and educational facilities. Yes, these are large budget items but it is paramount we keep up with repairs and build new schools to house our growing student population. New and renovated schools are large, complex and long-term construction projects. I am interested in how we start that process but also how we keep adapting it so in the 5-10 years from beginning of planning to the final construction, we are building the appropriate facility.
I support increased levies to ensure our schools are first-rate for our students and educators.
The potential benefits of improving the spaces where education is provided can be sizeable, including energy savings, safer and healthier environments for children, and better learning outcomes. Recent studies have shown that students’ performance is enhanced in schools with better physical learning environments.